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Will bullfrog hunting croak?

Now that the 2020 hunting season for bullfrogs is finally over, I think it’s time that I finally retire from the sport.

This would be a difficult decision for me to make, if not for the fact that I have forgotten to go bullfrog hunting for 44 seasons in a row now.

That’s a shame because as a kid, I used to be an excellent bullfrog hunter and conservationist. In fact, I solely practiced catch and release. The catch part was in a swamp and the release part was usually in my sister’s top dresser drawer.

I’m not going to lie to you: if my sister lived closer, I’d probably take up bullfrog hunting again. But since she lives too far away, I am hereby announcing that I have officially given up on bullfrog hunting. I’ve had my fun.

Why am I giving up?

First off, bullfrog hunting is not only a young man’s game, it’s a single man’s game.

If you don’t believe me, try to explain to your wife why you would choose to put on leaky waders and a headlamp and spend the night in the swamp with your weird buddies and a host of mosquitoes, rather than cuddle in a nice warm bed with her. Go on. I dare you.

That’s why I’m betting that if there is such a thing as even one hardcore bullfrog hunter out there, he’s single.

Sure, frog’s legs are a delicacy, but if I’m going to be honest here, they are not that much of a delicacy.

Which is fine because bullfrog hunting is not actually for food, anyway. Rather, it is an excuse to chase frogs around a swamp in the dark. Yes, you can also do this in daylight, but then people see you.

Frankly, I don’t know a single person who admits to hunting bullfrogs – but then again I come from a generation who grew up admiring the wit and wisdom of Kermit, so it’s not exactly socially acceptable.

Also, the sport lacks the kind of literary, internet and television presence that would cause younger people to get into it so that  they could carry on the noble tradition. No one has ever had the head of a large bullfrog stuffed and hung on a prominent wall in the house –unless they were single at the time.

And while the limit is 10 per hunter, I have never heard anyone brag about getting a limit, or refuse to divulge their best bullfrogging spots, which tells me that the interest is just not there.

Nevertheless, my retirement from bullfrog hunting will probably be a huge blow to the sport, since I’m probably the only outdoors writer in Ontario who has even thought about it in the last 30 years.

The truth is, much like skunk hunting, I believe it is a dying pastime, here in Ontario. Who knows why?

All I do know is that, if we are going to revitalize the sport, someone is going to have to take up the mantle.

Some young energetic outdoors personality, with a nervous sister who lives nearby, is going to have to show the world how much fun chasing bullfrogs can be. It would be good if he had a side kick too. Someone who really knew how to prepare them for consumption, just in case the sister moves away.

Even then, I’m not sure you could expect a lot of growth in the sport. Yet, if the interest in the sport increases, it would undoubtedly be in leaps and bounds.

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